Social Question

jaytkay's avatar

Should I use my real name on Fluther, etc?

Asked by jaytkay (25800points) April 23rd, 2010

I’ve always used pseudonyms on the web. Should I just use my real name?

I guess I always reserved the right to be an anonymous jerk. Is it better to expose myself?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Depends on what sort of opinions you plan to express. Will you ever say something, or reveal something, you wouldn’t want everyone to know came from you?

chyna's avatar

I haven’t ever noticed that you were a “jerk”. I would never use my real name, but then, my name is unusual, so I prefer not to use it. Do you want to expose yourself, and if so, why?

FTW's avatar

These days the Internet is like a resume. Some employers even do Internet searches of prospective employees.

So, unless your real name is very common or you only intend to post things on Fluther that you do not mind anyone in your life reading, I would use a fake name.

jaytkay's avatar

@chyna Do you want to expose yourself, and if so, why?

Quality control. My name is unique, I think I may be the only “jaytkay” on Earth. For reals.

So putting myself out there would make me restrict myself to writings which I would never be ashamed of.

chyna's avatar

Then it would depend on you. Do you want to restrict yourself? It’s really a good idea in a way. It could be your moral compass. I have a very unique name, and that is why I choose to use fake names. I try not to be an ass, or to say things I would ever be ashamed of, but of course the occasional wrong thing pops out.

ragingloli's avatar

Unless it involves an activity where money flows, you should never use your real name on the internet.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It’s inviting trouble with nosy neighbors, nosy employers or any potential stalker.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Don’t put your real name in parts of usernames if you can help it. People google each other all the time, most of it is innocent but why take the chance of a co worker, employer, relative, children or a stalker/date reading your every thought?

On another social site I belonged to we had a very aggressive and unstable user who gathered enough information on another to track him down to the town he lived in and went so far as to contact people he believed knew the man personally. It was bizarre and totally spoiled the online community fun and safe feeling we’d all enjoyed for awhile. That put an end to a lot people sharing their pics with each other and being more open about where they were and what they did, an end to innocence I called it. Best be on the safe side.

chels's avatar

I always use my real name. I have nothing to hide, so why not.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

No. Do not use your real name. Anything you write on public sites – like this one for instance – can be found by a quick yahoo or google search:
You used to run a commercial B&W darkroom, you worked in a restaurant for 9 years and never use a tip jar, you pay MI phone tax, etc.
But most dangerous… A prospective employer/mate/investigator/ can see that you used this site today (as well as most days) and wrote more than 1500 answers in the past year – enough time invested to get more than 7000 lurve. What were you supposed to be doing when you were fluthering?
I would never use my real name. Once that genie is out of the bottle, you can never get it back in.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Absolutely not. It is asking for identity theft. Never share information on the internet that can be used to trace your name, location, sensitive details or family.

janbb's avatar

I’ve always preferred going the route of being an anonymous jerk myself. (Except for L.L. Bean – they know the real me.)

talljasperman's avatar

I wonder how many celebraties are on Fluther?

Steve_A's avatar

Well I googled my name like I have it here on fluther and I got so many other Steve As that it was kind of funny and I have yet seen my name and/or sites with it. Google did not bring up fluther for me :( sniff I’m not famous?? ~

Steve in itself is such a common name so I’m not worried. I obviously would never give my full name as in first middle and last on websites.

I might be this guy
or this guy
or this guy
or this guy
or this guy
and so on….

john65pennington's avatar

I have used my real name on Answerbag and Fluther for the last six years. i have absolutely nothing to hide and i can be found in Nashville, without a problem.

I am proud of the name my parents gave me….(i have no choice). john

I do have LIfelock, just in case.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

The ony place I use my real name is Facebook. Those on here who are friends with me on there know who I am.

gemiwing's avatar

I have the view that I need to try to be a good person without the stick/carrot routine. No punishment because I use my real name, no reward either. So if to be less of a jerk is my goal- does it matter the name it comes from? Do I need the name to keep me in check, or do I only need to stay self-aware?

I would use my real name except I really do value my privacy and would get very angry if someone found me from here/online without my permission. I believe blood-curdling rage is the phrase the kids use these days.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Besides the security questioh, the real name limits how much you can comment and share.
Would you say the same thing if you knew your GF could look over your shoulder? What about your parents? Best to keep it private.

slick44's avatar

Its funner if you make something up.

ucme's avatar

I did consider using mine for a while thought better of it. H.R.H can be a touch intimidating for some.

jaytkay's avatar

THANKS EVERYBODY! Good discussion, interesting answers!

Persuasive arguments from both sides. I have decided not to go Full Monty at this time.


FireMadeFlesh's avatar

For all those with no hesitation using their real name, I suggest you read @dpworkin‘s profile.

slick44's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh… very good point.

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